SAN Mig Super Coffee coach Tim Cone hopes the All-Star break has given his Mixers enough time to get their focus back as they plunge back to PBA Commissioner’s Cup action against a dangerous Air21 side on Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The Mixers have dropped their last two games, a 90-92 decision to the Barako Bull Energy followed by a 75-81 loss to league-leader Talk ‘N Text after starting the import-spiced conference with three straight wins.
And Cone expects his wards to buckle down to work in the their last four games, hoping to halt their skid starting with the match against Express (3-3) beginning at 5:45 p.m.
“It’s (All-Star Week) a good mental break for us,” said the most successful coach in PBA history after seeing his Mixers struggle to play defense in the last two games.
“But again, we still have a lot of work to do. It’s still gonna be a struggle for us.”
San Mig still controls its destiny as far as contending for one of the top two slots is concerned as it only trails second-running San Miguel Beer, which carry a 5-2 record, with two games left in their schedule.
The top two teams will have a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals.
For now, Cone wants to keep everyone fresh come the playoffs.
“Right now, we just need to get everybody involved and not watch the play,” the American mentor said.
On the other hand, Air21 coach Franz Pumaren wants the Express to keep the game close in order to have a solid chance of pulling off an upset against the star-studded Mixers squad.
“We’re expecting a storm surge from San Mig after losing their last two games,” Pumaren said. “We are hoping to offset their rebounding advantage because they are a very big team and we need to be up to par.”
San Mig import James Mays is averaging 28.8 points, 16.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.8 blocks this conference, while Air21 counterpart Wesley Witherspoon has normed 34.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals in his first two games since replacing Herve Lamizana.
The former Memphis Tiger forward is also averaging a high 56.5 percent from the three-point arc.